It’s a matter of trust at the New Ute Theatre |

It’s a matter of trust at the New Ute Theatre

Don Chaney
Rifle Cultural and Special Events Mgr.

Not only was I fortunate enough to work in the live music business with some really fascinating people, I was lucky enough to work for people who had an uncanny knack for discovering great music before the mainstream did.

For a few years I worked for a music festival in Denver that had 30 bands in three days, some known, some not so much. But the one thing you could count on with his festivals was even if you didn’t know the bands, you knew they would be good, even if the genre wasn’t your cup of tea. People would come to the festival to see a headliner, but leave talking about a band they knew nothing about until the moment they saw them. Another former employer, Jazz Aspen/Snowmass, also has that vision. In addition I’ve had the pleasure of working with many radio programmers with the same talent — programmers that were playing songs that weren’t on mainstream radio. Programmers you could rely on to introduce you to something new.

That kind of musical discovery is the best kind. Has someone ever dragged you to a concert kicking and screaming, but when it was over, you felt like an explorer that discovered a new continent? That is a bit dramatic, but you get the point.

This is where the “trust” thing comes in. As the Ute Theater begins what I hope becomes a storied history as a performing arts theater, my number one goal is to bring that kind of talent to Rifle. A year from now, if people are buying tickets to shows because they have come to enjoy what we’ve brought in the past, I will be ecstatic. But that starts with our programming staff doing just that. Discovering new and eclectic performers and films, while bringing classic acts we all know and love. I am asking everyone to give us that trust by doing the following:

In the next few months, buy a ticket to see a band or performer you have either never heard of, or know little about. Just one. That’s where it starts. Then try it again. Maybe it’s a comedy show, film, or a band. Maybe it’s a dance troupe, or a poetry reading. I know it’s your hard earned money, but when you discover something new that you connect with, it’s worth it.

Can we accomplish what my past mentors did? I think so. We have all the elements — an incredible venue, a passionate staff and audiences waiting for a reason to gather and celebrate life.

On that note, on September 19th, “Todo Mundo” brings their award-winning brand of Latin and World Beat music to The Ute and the next day, you have a chance to learn about food in America with the eye opening Documentary “Fed UP”, produced by Live Well Garfield County. Todo Mundo tickets can be purchased at City Market,, or by calling 970-243-TIXS (8497). Fed Up is free, but you must get a ticket at

So, I guess we are asking you to “Trust Us.” By doing that, you’ll not only support this great theater, but you’ll also be a part of a new cultural and arts community that is flourishing in Rifle. And it’s a safe bet you’ll have some good fun in the process.

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